Why most modern cars have engine hood cover that opens from the front while many older cars have it the other way around?

I am interested to know what is the technical reason the car manufacturers switched from one design to the other.

The only thing that I can think of is that the older style prevents accidental opening while driving.

LE: It seems this thing might be named hood "hinged front" or hood "hinged back"

  • 1
    Do you mean, "open from the back"? There are very few cars I'm aware of which open from the back, either today or yesterday. Corvettes and some BMWs ... there's a very few others, but it really isn't common. Most every car I know of opens towards the back, meaning you open them up front and they tilt upwards towards the back. Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:43
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2: Yes, I meant open from the back. Correcting now. Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:43
  • Corvette CR3, old BMWs, old Mercedes, some Mustangs open towards the front; pretty much everything else towards the back Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:47
  • 1
    @juhist I worked on many of the older cars and access to some components was a pia (pain in the a**e) even if the bonnet was removed totally - steering rack, cooling system etc etc getting to a starter motor or alternator on some vehicles was not always considered at the factory as the complete engine was fitted complete with subframe...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:02
  • 2
    I don't see how anyone is confused here. OP is asking why older cars open from the back of the hood rather than from the front. I own a car that opens from the back as it was definitely normal in older cars: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/63686/… I also own a newer car that opens from the front. It is definitely much better working on a car where the hood opens from the back.
    – insidesin
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 1:13

1 Answer 1



If the hood opens from the front, you get easier access to the components under the hood.

Some very old cars had actually hood that opened sideways. Then the engine compartment was longer than wider, and this hood opening style allowed best possible access.

But, today, hoods are wider than they are long, and therefore, they open from the front.

The potential issues with hood opening at speed are solved by multiple redundant locking mechanisms. On my 2016 Toyota RAV4 hybrid, you need to open two independent locking mechanisms to let the hood open. The first lets it open for few centimeters, the second lets it open fully.

Hood opening from the back is a non-optimal solution, and fortunately, not many cars do it this way.

  • Don't agree that front opening always gives easier access, but front opening may help with the safety and crumple zones in terms of the design and meeting crash legislation both for occupants and pedestrians...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 17:59
  • @SolarMike That sounds interesting, you should post an answer...
    – juhist
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:00
  • Either way, what you are saying here doesn't match what the OP is asking in the question. Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:01
  • Ah, indeed, should have read it fully.
    – juhist
    Commented Feb 14, 2019 at 18:04

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